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Jacobs Crawley still loving life on pro rodeo tour

Staff Writer
Stephenville Empire-Tribune
Jacobs Crawley

Stephenville native Jacobs Crawley is in his 10th year of competing on the PRCA Rodeo circuit, and is still loving the life.

Crawley — one of the world’s top saddle bronc riders for the past several years — will be among those competing in the 51st annual Cowboy Capital of the World Pro Rodeo, Sept. 25-27 at Lone Star Arena in Stephenville.

Currently, Crawley is ranked No. 10 in saddle bronc riding in the PRCA RAM World Standings, with $48,064 in earnings so far in 2020. He finished ninth in 2019, earning $191,935, but he said he does not consider this a disappointing year.

“I was a little sore’d up through the winter, but in no way is this a disappointing year,” said the 32-year-old Crawley, who competed in rodeo at Texas A&M, where he received a bachelor’s degree in engineering. “Any time you can do this for a living — compete and make a living doing this — it’s a blessing.”

Both Jacobs (2006) and his younger brother, Sterling Crawley (2009), are Stephenville High School graduates who have been consistently ranked high in the PRCA saddle bronc standings. Sterling was the 2011 PRCA Resistol Saddle Bronc Riding Rookie of the Year.

Jacobs’ first full-time venture onto the pro rodeo circuit was when he was a senior at A&M. This year he is seeking to qualify for the National Finals Rodeo for a 10th consecutive time. He said that 2015 was his most memorable year — when he won the PRCA saddle bronc world title and banked a total of $276,247. But the biggest bonus by far that year was getting married to his wife, Lauren.

“That was pretty cool. My wife and I had just got married in May, and we bought our first house,” Crawley said. “Physically, I was at the top of my game. The stars kind of aligned, and I was able to take advantage of it.”

Unfortunately, brother Sterling won’t be riding in the Stephenville event because he suffered a broken leg on Aug. 16 while competing in an event in Baker, Montana. Jacobs said that his brother is aiming to return to the circuit sometime in November.

In an article written by Tracy Renck, posted on the PRCA website, Sterling Crawley was quoted as saying, “In a perfect world, depending on where the standings go and how things work, it’s a longshot that I could make it (to the National Finals), but maybe it will happen. We will just take things step by step.”

The PRCA’s regular-season competition will come to a close on Sept. 30.

Jacobs said that he and Sterling often travel together to PRCA events around the nation, and have grown even closer than before.

“My brother and I go everywhere together,” Jacobs said of Sterling, who competed for Hillsboro Junior College and Sam Houston State University while in college. “We were always real close. It (traveling together) allowed for us to spend more time together. He’s every bit as good as I am now. Before he broke his leg, he was riding as good as he ever had.”

Sterling is a six-time qualifier for the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo. At the time of his injury, he ranked seventh in the PRCA RAM World Standings with earnings of $51,608. Jacobs said that he has pushed himself to get better, seeing his younger brother have such success. But it’s definitely not a rivalry, he said.

He explained that it’s more of a case of “Iron sharpens iron — more so than a rivalry.”

Jacobs’ wife, who was from South Texas, had been a competitive barrel racer and breakaway roper for years, and she wants to continue that at some point in the future. But with the birth of their first child in November 2017, life’s priorities have changed. The former A&M cowgirl is spending her time with the most important member of the family, young Corley Deane, who will turn 3 in November.

Earlier this month, it was announced that the 2020 Wrangler National Finals Rodeo — the season-ending event for the PRCA — has been moved to Globe Life Field in Arlington. Starting in 1959, the first three years of the National Finals Rodeo were held in Dallas at the Texas State Fairgrounds. The event moved to the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, starting in 1985.

In this very non-normal year, clouded by the COVID-19 pandemic, Crawley said he is looking forward to competing in nearby Arlington.

“I’m excited for something new,” he said. “There’s been a lot of positives with the move.”

RODEO HERITAGE WEEK

Rodeo Heritage Week, kicks off on Saturday, Sept. 19, at 8 a.m. with the Cowboy Capital BBQ Cook-Off, at Park Your Pony Arena, which is located at 536 County Road 483 in Stephenville.

Rodeo tickets for adults are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. For children ages 6-12, tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Admission is free for children age 5 and under.

Rodeo tickets are now available at Bradberry’s Best; Capital Hatters; Chick Elms Grand Entry Western Store & Rodeo Shop; Saddle Rags The Western Store; and the Stephenville Chamber of Commerce. For more information call Stephenville Chamber of Commerce at 254-965-5313, or go online (cowboycapitalprcarodeo.com).

Lone Star Arena is at 4696 North U.S. Highway 377 in Stephenville.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

 Saturday, Sept. 19

8 a.m. — Cowboy Capital BBQ Cook-Off, Park Your Pony Arena.

10 a.m. — Cowboy Capital County Team Roping, Park Your Pony Arena.

3 p.m. — Registration for Mutton Bustin’ & Dummy Roping, Park Your Pony Arena.

4 p.m. — Dummy Roping Contest, Park Your Pony Arena.

5 p.m. — McCoy’s Mutton Bustin’, Park Your Pony Arena.

 Thursday, Sept. 24

9 a.m. — PRCA Steer Roping Slack, Lone Star Arena.

5-7 p.m. — Rodeo memorabilia exhibit reception presented by Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council, River North Gallery.

 Friday, Sept. 25

9 a.m. — PRCA Timed Event Slack, Lone Star Arena.

7 p.m. — PRCA Rodeo Performance No. 1, American Patriot Night (honoring all those who serve), Lone Star Arena.

 Saturday, Sept. 26

7:30 a.m. — Cowboy Capital 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run, Stephenville City Park.

10 a.m. — Rodeo Heritage Parade, Stephenville downtown square.

7 p.m. — PRCA Rodeo Performance No. 2 (“It’s Gonna Get Western Night”), Lone Star Arena.

9 p.m. — Dancin’ in the Dirt live music concert with Jake Hooker & The Outsiders, Lone Star Arena (free admission with rodeo ticket).

 Sunday, Sept. 27

2 p.m. — PRCA Rodeo Performance No. 3 (“Sunday Showdown”), Lone Star Arena.

In this E-T file photo from a previous PRCA Cowboy Capital of the World Pro Rodeo in Stephenville, a saddle bronc rider hangs on to post a score.